Friday, April 26, 2013

Keeping the Cat birds out

Today I finally put up the bird netting for my berry enclosure.  I attached it with 1 inch binder clips to the electrical conduit frames that I put up a couple days ago.  Now my blueberries, raspberries and strawberries will be safe from the evil Cat birds.  They will sit in a tree and mock me while I am out gardening.  Three years ago before I put the bird netting up they would swoop down right next to me while I was picking my raspberries and snatch one off the canes.  Bold birds.  
Enclosure all along my fence.
Berry enclosure.

Then I also raked out the rest of my raised garden area.  Here I had some of Mel's Mix, leaves and a big pile of compost dumped on top.  It was all mixed in and it spread out to an area about 10 X 7 and one foot deep.  I had a ton of seeds from prior years so I planted three rows of pole beans, a bunch of cantaloupes, pumpkin and then just sprinkled left over lettuce, carrots, radish, marigolds and another random seed that I cold not remember.  I covered with straw (ornamental grass trimmings) and watered.  I am giving them two weeks and what ever doesn't grow I plan on buying transplants.  It was really just random.
Garden plot with center "Meditation Stump."

Ornamental Cherry!

Front of House from front walk and from road.

Purple Lilac
Japanese Rose
Palace Purple  Heuchera and Astilbe.  Five Dove eggs in my Arborvitae.  The Dove flies out every time I walk by.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Who invited the Devil to my garden?

My darling daughter found some Caterpillars on my columbine. They are always on the look out for cattys. They feed them and watch them make cocoons We have three right now that we have wintered over and are waiting to hatch.

I went to work right away to determine what these green things are. No good. Sawfly Larvae!

"These can strip columbine leaves right down to the bare veins and stems almost overnight."
Ugly jerks.  Sawfly larvae.

At first I let them go. But then on doing my garden rounds this morning I found plant after plant of my columbines stripped of their leaves! Oh momma was MAD! I rushed to the shed and pulled out my duster with my Diatomaceous Earth and went postal. I mean do you know how many columbines I have in my yard! Hundreds! I envisioned them all dying in a day or two. NO way. Warnings of monoculture flashed in my brain. When the sawflies found my yard they hit the jackpot.

What is Diatomaceous Earth you ask?

Diatomaceous earth is a remarkable, all-natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring siliceous sedimentary mineral compound from microscopic skeletal remains of unicellular algae-like plants called diatoms. These plants have been part of the earth's ecology since prehistoric times. It is believed that 30 million years ago the diatoms built up into deep, chalky deposits of diatomite. The diatoms are mined and ground up to render a powder that looks and feels like talcum powder to us. It is a mineral based pesticide. DE is
approximately 3% magnesium, 33% silicon, 19% calcium, 5% sodium, 2% iron and many other trace minerals such as titanium, boron, manganese, copper and zirconium. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural (not calcined or flux calcined) compound. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural grade diatomite. 

How does it work?
To insects DE is a lethal dust with microscopic razor sharp edges. These sharp edges cut through the insect's protective covering drying it out and killing them when they are either dusted with DE or if it applied as a wettable powder spray. If they ingest the DE it will shred their insides.

My columbines are my absolute most favorite flower in my whole yard.  They are so easy to grow.  I throw their seeds every where.  When they are done blooming I shake their seeds into a paper bag and collect thousands of them.  I have them in about five shades of pink, purple and mauve.  Here are a couple of pictures I found from last year.  I couldn't find pictures of my deep dark purple ones.  I will post them when they are in full bloom.  

columbine flower
another color
love these flowers!
They better look like this in a few days.

 Last thing I have to say, die sawfly die!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Week Late

I am a week late getting to this post.  My ornamental Cherry tree is starting to bloom.  In another week the ground will be covered in the blossoms.  Very messy.  I can't wait to show you photos.  But for now it is incredible.  It fills in shade in the front of the house and in front of the huge picture window.  In the heat of the summer i am very thankful for this tree.
Found a robin nest in this tree.

Up close cherry blossom.

My attempt to hide the sewer clean out.  Very zen.

Love, love, love my candy tuft.

Like a white cloud!  You should see these once the columbine catch up with them.

Blue bells!

So last year I noticed a blight in the center of my raspberry patch.  I wanted to move it anyway because the raspberries obscured the view of my blueberry bushes.  So here they are.  I hope they live.  Some have transplant shock.
Newly transplanted raspberry row.

Strawberries in pots.  They bloom early because they are above ground.

Broccoli is getting taller; very slowly.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Bees Like Me

This was only some of the compost.
Yesterday I got 1100 lbs of compost for the gardens.  My wonderful husband dumped it on top of my veggie garden area.  
Today I went to work.  First I planted two new blueberry bushes for a grand total of five.  Then I had to move the irises from in front of my mailbox because they grew too tall and move the peonies that were in too much shade.  So I created a lovely new spot for the both of them at the entrance to my side yard.  They are flanked by existing Catmint.  
Then I planted three new plants that I picked up from Lowe's in front of the mailbox.  They are a red neon star Dianthus, blue note pincushion flower and poem lavender wallflower.  All three are drought tolerant so they are perfect for near the road and they are low growing so they won't get in the mail lady's way.  Then I had to plant the rosemary that I forgot I picked up weeks ago. 
 All of them got several nice shovel fulls of compost in their holes.
So as I am planting I notice that the carpenter bees love to buzz around me.  It must be my pink garden gloves or the pink scrunchie in my hair. I hold out my hand and the bee almost lands on the glove.  They are fun to throw things at but you never hit them they just buzz away.  Nate likes to take off his flip flops and throw them at the bees.  They like to burrow holes underneath the fence rails and even under our mailbox.  
So that was the end of my day after cleanup and watering. 
 It was so wonderfully windy that I thought my pinwheels would take off.  They were whirling wildly.   
Anemone in bloom.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Just Get Up and Move

Today is a beautiful day but I wanted to sit all day on work on my new project.  Writing a book.  But I took a break and went outside.  Glad that I did.  We had a down pour of rain the other day and everything is green.  Lots more plants in bloom and sprouting out of the ground.  Just marvelous.
Weeds every where too.  So I did a once over in my yard getting to all the beds.  I pulled two foot tall onion grass. Dug out dandelions.  But everywhere I went to pull weeds you could see new surprises.  Lots of little violets in the grass.
  Finally found a white and purple one that I having been trying to introduce to my yard for a while. 
White and purple violet.
New plants sprouting in new places.  My sweet woodruff under the front tree has become a mass three feet round.  Can not wait til that blooms.  My goose neck loose strife is rapidly spreading.  I will show you pics of that in the fall.  They are really neat.
Baby Loose strife
 My strawberries have blooms on them!
Strawberry bloom
  My raspberries are popping up everywhere.  I will have to move them next week as I discovered a blight in the center of the row and I want to move them before they all get it.  My blueberry bushes are much bigger and getting lots of blooms.  I had so much fun harvesting them last year.  Everything is awesome!  I love watching things come to life.
Also noticed lots of jobs my husband has to get too.  Making a note for myself.  He needs to trim the tree in the back and get a truck load of compost.  Those are a must for next week.

This is a weed.  Pretty but I pulled it.

Tons of money plant/honesty covering the ground.

Grape hyacinth with violet.

More violets with my lilies.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fool's

61 and WINDY!  It keeps showering off and on for a few minutes at a time.  The wind blows the clouds out of the way and the sun shines for a few minutes.  Went to Lowe's to see what's new.  Picked up another lovely.  A Golden Barberry!  
Beautiful Chartreuse leaves.  Very stabby, just what my mother would love  ;)
Spent some time weeding in the rain and then put barberry in the front garden.  It looks absolutely wonderful next to my daffodils,
 which are just starting to bloom. 
My pieris is in bloom now too.  Like fountains of white blooms and they smell so sweet.  
The girls spotted a couple butterflies and got busy catching them. Perfect April Fools.